One of those well-known, long-practicing doctors is 81-year-old Carl C. Welch, M.D.
A native of Raymond, Dr. Welch has not always been a doctor. For a few years, he was active in the field of journalism and radio.
"I was a newspaper reporter for The Clarion-Ledger for three years. After which, I became managing editor of the McComb Enterprise-Journal, a Pulitzer Prize winning newspaper. Later that same year, I became general manager of WHSY in Hattiesburg. I later was involved in ownership of a radio station in Corinth," the former radio station manager and newspaper reporter explained.
It was after his career in the radio business ended when Welch decided to join the United States Army.
After attending Hinds Community College in his hometown, he joined the Army in 1951 for a two-year stint.
"I went in the Army as a member of the 31st Division. I was called in with the Mississippi National Guard," explained the veteran.
When his service in the military came to an end, Welch decided to take his career path in a new direction when he began taking the steps to enter medical school.
"Late in 1962, I decided to go to medical school. I needed some prerequisites, so I continued to work and got them in night school at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, in time to start medical school in September of 1964," noted the physician.
He completed a residency in Anatomical and Clinical Pathology.
Welch arrived in Corinth in 1971, becoming director of laboratories at Magnolia Regional Health Center and the Tishomingo County Hospital in Iuka until 1974.
He then entered into a private practice in family medicine. He is a member of The Mississippi Academy of Family Physicians and The American Academy of Family Physicians.
Some 42 years later, the doctor is still going strong as a practicing physician at the Tri-State Health Clinic.
He is not the only medical professional in his family. Welch has passed on his love of medicine to one of his sons who lives in Arkansas, while the other two pursued very different career paths that have taken them as close as Tennessee and as far away as Texas.
His oldest son is an ear, nose and throat doctor and a professor at a medical school.
His middle son works as the territory manager for a company that designs, manufactures and sells high-tech operating systems to ear, nose, and throat physicians.
Welch's youngest son has his doctorate in music composition and teaches at a university in Texas.
Welch is a very devoted family man who has always been close to his sons.
"I love my boys. I am very close to all of them. I told my children whenever they left the house, no matter where you go, and no matter what you do, you remember your daddy loves you," noted the father.
Welch is is also an extremely active member of several medical programs in this community.
He is the medical director for four local programs, including the hospice program for Magnolia Regional Health Center, Whitfield Nursing Home, Alcorn County Regional Correctional Facility and Alcorn County Jail.
After four decades of service in the local medical community, the doctor has a fairly simple plan for his retirement.
"I will retire when the undertaker comes to get me," said Welch. "Since I was not born independently wealthy, I'd rather do this than anything in the world."